Kimberly Burch is a curatorial intern whose position is generously funded by the Arts Council for Long Beach.
Education info: BA, Art History, University of Southern California, 2013
Masters Certificate, Museum and Curatorial Studies, Cal State University, Long Beach, May 2017
MA, Art History, emphasis in 20th Century American Avant-Garde, Cal State University, Long Beach, projected graduation date December 2017
What led you to pursue an internship at the Rancho? I grew up in Long Beach, and visited the RLC with my Girl Scout troop as young girl, making the site a part of my childhood. Preserving, promoting, and educating the public on the history of Long Beach and the Rancho is personally significant to me as a community-oriented person.
What were some of the tasks you did while interning here? Throughout my internship my primary tasks were assisting curator Sarah Wolk FitzGerald with her ongoing curatorial projects and collections management. Besides my primary objectives, I was responsible for cleaning and maintaining exhibition spaces of the Visitor’s Center, regular attendance at monthly staff meetings, and updating object information and running reports via Past Perfect (collections management software).
What were you most surprised about during your internship? I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the archival and object collection of Rancho Los Cerritos. I look forward to upcoming exhibitions at the rancho that feature these historical treasures.
What was your favorite part of the internship? The most enjoyable part of my internship was being allowed to explore and handle RLC’s collection of objects, textiles, and archival materials (with gloves of course). I believe this experience will set me apart when applying for future internships, as object handling is not typically a part of an intern’s duties at a historical site or museum. I also enjoyed working alongside Mrs. FitzGerald on all her current and forthcoming curatorial projects. She also encouraged me to work autonomously on two of my own small curatorial projects, including “Toys of the Rancho” currently on display in the RLC library.
What was the most interesting artifact you came across while working on exhibits? I found the four photographic prints in the parlor titled The Voyage of Life by Thomas Cole to be the most personally fascinating artifacts at RLC. After doing a bit of digging we discovered they are copies of a set of lithographic prints once owned by the Bixby family. Sarah Bixby Smith even wrote about them in Adobe Days.
What are your hobbies/passions? When I am not reading an art book, the most important part of my life is my family, friends, and four cats. Yes—four cats—and I am married. I enjoy spending as much time as possible with the important people in my life eating, laughing, and enjoying our local community.
What are your plans after completing your internship? First, I would like to secure another internship at a local museum or historical site, in order to strengthen the skills I developed while working at RLC. In the long term, I plan to pursue a career in teaching art history at the university level. Alternatively, I am interested in museum work in either a development or educational department.